AEW star Tay Conti was interviewed on the latest “AEW Unrestricted” podcast. She talked about her love of Japanese strong style wrestling. She also talked about working with Hikaru Shida, her journey to AEW, what went wrong for her in WWE, her friendship with Anna Jay, training with Dustin Rhodes, and much more.
Tay talking about her WWE release in April 2020:
“I was asking for my release for a couple months. I was not happy. I was so unhappy there that I didn’t have any plans. I wanted to get out of there. I wasn’t happy. I never thought about what I’m going to do if they give me my release. I never thought about it. I just need to be done with them. Of course, they said no a couple of times. We were having a bunch of meetings trying to talk to my previous boss and then with the office trying to figure out things. I was like, ‘I’m done. Just let me go.’ The last one they told me, ‘No, you’re not going.’ Then they mentioned AEW. They said, ‘You’re not going to AEW, we put a lot of money on you. You’re a star, and now you’re going to go there?’ I’m like, ‘Yea, you don’t use me here. I have to go somewhere, but it’s not there. I don’t know anybody there. I have no plans to go to AEW.’
Then, I had no plans because I had no contact at all. We figured it out that they said no, and I still had three years on my contract. I was like, “Well, what am I going to do? I’m going to be here, right.’ They said ‘You can be at home. We are going to pay you and you can be at home.’ I said, ‘No, because I know everybody is going to forget about me and I will not be able to work.’ I was like, ‘No, it’s ok. I’ll make it two more years. I’m going to keep working. I have no choice.’ We decided to keep working. Everything was good. We got on good terms, and then something had to change because I was not happy with the training schedule, whatever. Then I was back to work. Out of nowhere, they called me. Well, not out of nowhere. Everybody knew what was going on because of Covid. I was not expecting the call since we were ok. They told me, ‘Yea, we are finally letting you go.’ They were not too nice. I’m so grateful for them because honestly, they’ve changed my life. I came to the U.S. They bet on me and helped me a lot. They changed my life and I’m grateful for it, but then in the last year I was like, ‘I’m not happy. I have to go.’ That was super hard. That was one of the worst days of my life to be honest. Then, I was lost, sad, upset and everything. What am I going to do now? It turned out that was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Tay was asked why she improved so rapidly in AEW compared to her time in the WWE Performance Center:
“Because I’m happy. 100%. That’s the most important thing. Of course, I have a great trainer like Dustin doing great work with me and I’m grateful for him. I have more time to watch matches. But, all of this is happening because I’m happy with myself. I can be who I am without being judged. I can try things. I feel that people trust me. I don’t have that pressure on my back every single time, like, should I hi? Should I walk with my right foot or with my left. I don’t have that. That’s why I’m happy, and then I can do better. I feel like every time you’re happy, everything is better. You can do your best.”